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Geagea to Asharq Al-Awsat: Solution Lies in Early Elections

Geagea to Asharq Al-Awsat: Solution Lies in Early Elections

Wednesday, 15 January, 2020 - 10:00
Samir Geagea, leader of the Lebanese Forces, October 31, 2014. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir

The head of the Lebanese Forces (LF) party, Samir Geagea, said that the only exit for the current crisis in Lebanon was the holding of early parliamentary elections, “as the ruling majority has failed to find solutions.”

In an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, Geagea said that the ruling majority does not know how to govern nor let others manage the country, and “people are stuck” in the problem.

Stressing that the LF was at the heart of anti-government protests, he noted that people returned to the streets “because they saw that the constitutional institutions, on which they relied to resolve the situation, have failed to do so and further deepened the crisis.”

Geagea said that the relationship with resigned-Prime Minister Saad Hariri was maintained at the “minimum level”.

“We and the Future Movement are strategically aligned, but our views differ on how to run the State,” he affirmed.

He went on to say that Hariri “has disappointed us with many things that happened previously and the time was not at all appropriate to support him to head the government.”

The head of the LF admitted that there was no strategy that brings together opposition parties, namely the Future Movement, the Progressive Socialist Party (PSP), and the Kataeb.

“Other parties, who think like us, don’t want to get into big strategies now”, he remarked.

Geagea said he believed that the ruling majority has proven to be ineffective for three years now, and in the last three months, it has proven to be “powerless, deficient, and corrupt.”

“I cannot imagine that a country has witnessed a popular uprising for three months, in conjunction with a rapidly deteriorating economic and financial situation, and the ruling authority is doing nothing,” he told Asharq Al-Awsat.

“In my opinion, this is the actual crisis. It’s that you have an existing ruling majority that does not know how to rule, nor let others rule, and people are stuck in the middle,” he commented.

Asked about the renewal of the street protests across Lebanon, the LF president said: “People took to the streets again with such intensity, pulse, and strength because there is no other way out.”

“There was an exit available for the ruling majority when Hassan Diab was designated. There was an opportunity to form a government with different specifications that apply to the current conditions, to restore confidence in the state of Lebanon, to find solutions to economic, financial, and living conditions, or to give a minimum level of confidence for the people to go to their homes,” he lamented.

“Unfortunately, the opportunity was lost… and the people returned to the streets,” he said.

Geagea said that recent street developments have “sounded the alarm over the need for the rest of the parties to wake up and realize the seriousness of what is happening.”

In this regard, he underlined that the only solution was the holding of early parliamentary elections, saying: “This issue is strongly present on the table of the LF bloc; how can we convince the other parliamentary blocs because we do not see any other solution.”

“Do they want the country to collapse before their eyes, while they remain attached to their seats, and no one moves?!” He asked.

Geagea also emphasized that the goals set by the protesters “meet the objectives previously announced by the LF,” with regards to the “resignation of the government, the formation of a transitional cabinet of independents, and other goals.”

“In the present situation, we can be heading towards early parliamentary elections,” he remarked.

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